Date: 10/27/19 3:39 am
From: Chris Heys <chris.p.heys...>
Subject: Re: [MASSBIRD] Pacific-Slope Flycatcher update
All,

Echoing Josh’s previous email:

In coastal Northern California, on Humboldt Bay, some Pacific Slope Flycatchers will stick around well into October before departing for the winter. The temperatures on more sheltered parts of that region have average lows in the mid 40’s that time of the year. This temperature does not take into account the wind and weather, moisture and precipitation that the region can be known for, especially in autumn, either.

One thought that I had is that this species prefers the deep and humid woods, shady and cool. I don’t suspect that it will take kindly to snow, though.

One would hope that it moves on. Does anyone have any data on the fate of off course migrants? So many of the 90-degree-ers seem to meet their end in the talons of some alert raptor, but I suspect that part of this is because there are often many observers, making to occurrence of this violent sort of end seem more common than (a) it actually is, or (b) than is typical for any small bird.

I guess what I am getting at it: we would like to think that a bird that meets terrible cold in an unknown landscape might disembark for points south, but this bird (and other 90-degree-ers) have already proven themselves a little compass-confused. Or maybe that is too much personification. Maybe the 90-degree-ers know full well that their migratory route was one of an avian pioneer.

Do these lost migrant make their way south, eventually? Anyone know or have interesting anecdotes?

Chris Heys
Jaffrey NH


Sent from my iPhone

> On Oct 26, 2019, at 10:42 PM, Josh <opihi...> wrote:
>
> Linda and MassBirders,
>
> The breeding range of this species extends all the way up to southeastern Alaska, where temperatures similar to what is forecast for tomorrow - 40s and rainy - are far from unknown, even during the summer.
>
> Back when I lived in North Carolina, a “Western” flycatcher, considered by most observers (but not the state bird records committee) to be a Pacific-Slope, was found in the central part of the state in mid-January. It continued in the area until a winter storm hit that produced over a foot of snow, and temperatures down to just above zero. So, when weather like that moves in - as it usually does at some point here in MA - the flycatcher will be in trouble, should it still be in this neighborhood. But that seems unlikely. (If it sticks around that long, even *I* might get to see it!)
>
> A few years after that flycatcher in NC, I was participating in a CBC in the same part of the state, and discovered an Empidonax. I wasn’t sure which species, but it turned out to be the state’s first Gray Flycatcher. It was seen on and off for nearly a month. While NC is certainly milder in weather than MA, the average January temperatures in Chatham County (where both of these Empids were found) are highs in the upper 40s, lows just below freezing; if anything, a bit colder than we’ll see tomorrow.
>
> Point being, Empids from the western US are capable of surviving the occasional cold spell, perhaps even more so than our usual eastern breeding species. I would not bet this bird's still being around for, say, Thanksgiving; but Halloween seems entirely possible….
>
> Good birding,
>
> Josh
>
>
> Joshua S. Rose, Ph.D.
> Amherst, MA
>
> Vice-president, Hampshire Bird Club
> https://hampshirebirdclub.org/
>
> Northeast Chapter head, Dragonfly Society of the Americas
> https://www.dragonflysocietyamericas.org/northeastdsa
>
> http://bugguide.net/user/view/2399
> https://www.facebook.com/opihi
>
>
>> On Oct 26, 2019, at 5:56 PM, linda pivacek <lpivacek...> wrote:
>>
>> Thanks to Joe Oliverio for finding this rarity, and so many others providing info/data. I'm hoping to look for this gem on Monday with mixed emotions.
>> I have concerns about the survival of this "off course" migrant, the usual 90 degrees. Perhaps a feeder with worms could help this bird, however low temperatures may not make it possible for survival.
>> Linda
>>
>> Linda Pivacek, Nahant.
>> <lpivacek...>
>>>
>

 
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